Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, July 16, 2015
Based Upon Nehemiah 4:19
“They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me. And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another. In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.”
God’s people were finally free from Babylonian captivity. Through much opposition, they were also finally able to rebuild the temple of God due to the favor the Lord had shown them through king Darius. Nehemiah, the son of Hacaliah considered the entire situation of those freed from the captivity. He realized that the walls of the city were still in ruins. The gates had been burned to the ground, and it was a reproach. This is not what God intended for His city. This is not what He intended for His people. They were to be a light set upon a hill that could not be hid. They were the repositories of light and through disobedience, their candles flickered.
This troubled Nehemiah. As Isaiah, Daniel, and Moses had done on different occasions, Nehemiah began to entreat the Lord, confessing his sins, and the sins of the people. He wanted the Lord to reveal Himself and make good on His promise to turn away their reproach, if they would only repent and turn to the Lord.
God granted Nehemiah’s prayer. He gave him favor with King Artaxerxes, and the project to rebuild the wall of God’s city of peace began. The next fifty two days would prove to be arduous. When some of Israel’s enemies heard that they were attempting to repair the wall, they made fun of them, saying that if a fox stood atop the part of the wall they had completed up to that point, it would come tumbling down. Also, while there was yet a breach in the wall, they sought to ambush God’s people to arrest their progress. What they did not understand was that the Lord blessed the work, and there was nothing they could do to stop it.
With godly wisdom, Nehemiah assembled every worker in a certain order. The workers were divided into two groups. One group would continue to build, while the others stood with weapons, ready for battle. Every man was prepared, whether he was building or guarding the work, each had weapons for battle.
“Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;) That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief. And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner. Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand;” (Nehemiah 6:1-5). In spite of their enemies’ attempts to stop their work, Nehemiah and the others successfully rebuilt the walls at Jerusalem. “So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days. And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.” (Nehemiah 6:15-16).
Do you know that there is a breach in the great wall of God’s Ten Commandment law? He has given His people, those upon whom the ends of the world are come, the work of repairing it. When we draw near to Him in repentance as Nehemiah did, He will equip us with His whole armor that we may be able to stand against the attacks of Satan. With the Bible as our sword fully drawn and sharpened, we are to allow the Lord to defend against the enemy.
Do you know that there is a breach in the great wall of God’s Ten Commandment law? He has given His people, those upon whom the ends of the world are come, the work of repairing it.
The breach in God’s law is our forgetfulness of worship. It is our spiritual amnesia concerning the seventh-day Sabbath, which the Lord said to remember. His day is holy and cannot be transferred to another. Therefore, the Lord said if we return to the holiness of His word by feeding the hungry, giving clothes to the naked, and otherwise caring for the destitute and disadvantaged from our hearts, He will show us favor.
“Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 58:9-14).
As in the days prior to the Babylonian captivity, the Lord never intended that His walls be broken down. His will has always been for His people to dwell in the light and live above reproach.
It is our privilege today to seek His face, as did Nehemiah, and receive the light concerning our part in repairing the breach. As we return to honoring the Lord as the Creator of the universe by remembering His holy seventh-day Sabbath, His favor will become evident in our lives. We will be instrumental in repairing the breach.